Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Brooklyn's Got Magic
The bad news is that all the clocktower residences at One Hanson Place have been sold. The good news is that there are still a few residences left on the lower floors, and they will not set you back the $3-6 million dollars that the tower residences would have.
The Williamsburgh Savings Bank Tower is the major visual icon and arguably the best known building in Brooklyn. At 512 feet, it towers over the low rise structures that dominate the borough and is visible from various locales throughout Brooklyn.
The 1929 landmarked structure is located at one Hanson Place, on the corner of Flatbush Avenue, a major artery. Formerly the home of Williamsburgh Bank, it was designed by the architectural firm Halsey, McCormack and Helmer in a Romanesque-Byzantine style.
The Williamsburgh Savings Bank Tower features a gilded copper dome and its signature four-faced clock 27 feet in diameter, with colored hands designed to be visible 30 to 40 miles away. Carved lions, turtles and birds grace the exteriors granite surface. The major attraction here is the extraordinary marble banking hall on the ground floor, with 63-foot vaulted ceilings, limestone and marble walls with elaborate mosaics and 40-foot windows containing silhouetted iron cutouts a thrift motif: beehives, squirrels storing nuts, wise owls, Mercury (the god of commerce), and lions whose paws protect the bank's lockbox. There are two abandoned public observation decks with signage describing the Battle of Brooklyn.
The building was converted to condominiums in 2006 in a partnership between Dermot Co. and Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds - a joint venture between Canyon Capital Realty Advisors and basketball star Magic Johnson.
There's a lot of hype surrounding any real estate development in New York City. But, no borough resident needs to be sold, since they always knew, as everyone else now does, that Brooklyn's got Magic :)